Norton: The Next Chapter Is Being Written As We Speak
New Factory Officially Openedby Harry Fisher, on
With the opening of a new factory, TVS is making good on its promise to resurrect the iconic Norton name.
Norton’s Future Secure and Moving Forward
There can be no motorcyclist, no matter what country they live in or where their brand loyalties may lie, who was not happy at the prospect of seeing the Norton name back in the showrooms of the world. The prospect of having two of the most famous names in British motorcycling going head-to-head once more was a tantalising prospect.
For a while, it seemed as if it was going to happen as a new Norton concern made faltering steps into reality. But, as has been well documented, it was not to be. Problems with non-delivery of bikes that had been paid for, reliability of those that had been delivered and appalling tales of financial impropriety by CEO Stuart Garner conspired to cause the project to falter and grind to an ignominious halt.
Luckily for us all, Indian manufacturing giant TVS stepped in and bought the remaining assets, with bold promises to revitalise the company and the products. The announcement was greeted with some cynicism in certain quarters but now, TVS has made good on those promises and a new dawn for Norton beckons.
With the opening of a brand new facility in Solihull in England, which will house not only the head office, but the R&D department and production line, Norton is poised to rise from the ashes and become a viable business proposition.
Notice of intention has already been served with the announcement of the V4SV sports bike and new CEO Robert Hentschel insists that this bike and the new factory is a springboard from which Norton will head into the future with confidence.
“The new Norton Motorcycles headquarters is a true embodiment of this iconic British marque. The facility is home to design, engineering, purchasing, sales, marketing, and support departments, as well as the highly skilled production team overseeing the build of our new generation of motorcycles.
“It is the perfect platform to re-energise our business as we lead the Norton brand to onward success where it will play a key role in the future of mobility.
“This investment demonstrates our unwavering commitment to the motorcycles we build. We will not compromise on quality,and we continue to work alongside every supplier to ensure that our high standards are always met.
“With this new HQ opening, Norton is now fit for the future –creating an innovative and sustainable business model which will see us producing world-class motorcycles that are true to the unrivalled legacy of Norton.”
Hentschel also crucially has TVS’ full support. TVS clearly sees Norton as having the ability to become a global motorcycle industry player and TVS managing director Sudarshan Venu reiterated the company’s commitment:
“The opening of the new headquarters represents a significant step forward for Norton Motorcyclesand is a proud moment for everyone.We are creating the foundations for a sustainable long-term future for the Norton marque.
“We are setting out to create a bold future for the company, our employees, our customers and our partners that lives up to the highest expectations, enabling Norton to once again become the real global force its legacy deserves.”
While it is not known what direction the model line-up will take, other than the already announced V4SV, it is certain to include an electric bike. If the proposed plan to return to motorcycle racing comes to fruition, we could also see the Norton name back on the race tracks of the world.
But it is the prospect of seeing two of the most famous British names in motorcycling going head-to-head on showroom floors that holds much of the interest. If Norton can emulate even a fraction of Triumph’s success, then we will all win.